Toombs County’s Xavier Horne defeated Dublin’s Matt Horne 11-2 to win the 195 pound championship. Xavier pinned opponents from Model and Fitzgerald to make it to the finals. The two Horne’s were suppose to meet in the championship matches of the Area 1 and East Sectional Tourneys. However, the Dublin wrestler had to pull out of each match due to injury. Xavier has now defeated his Dublin rival five times this season and his record is 39-2 for his senior season.
Xavier had a specific game plan for this final match between the two rivals, “They studied me and basically I have a nasty Hi-C (high crotch move). So, basically I just had to move in the first couple of periods and kind of get him back to his original stance so that it would open it up.” Xavier had a 3-1 lead in the second period and then in the third he grabbed his opponents good leg and got him down to the mat. “I felt really good as soon as I got that sweep and I got my two (points),” said Xavier. “I had both of his legs pinned down to the mat so I am getting my back points and he was trying to bail out. But, at that point my adrenaline is kicking in and I am trying with all my might to pin him.”
Xavier joins an exclusive club of Toombs County wrestlers who have won at least one state championship including Derrick Mincey (twice), Ricky Wilson, Bradley Benton (twice), Brian Benton (four time champ), Demery Hawkins (twice) and Kalin Wilhite. Last year Horne was a state placer, for the first time, at 170 pounds. He finished fifth. “It felt great to win it,” said Xavier. “But then it really didn’t feel real. I wasn’t as tired as I thought I would be. I was going for my son and everything and for everything else I had striving for me.” Head coach Travis Ellington added, “For Xavier to win a state championship I was ecstatic. He has been through alot and he works hard and I was just excited that he had the opportunity to win a state championship and have his picture up on the wall here at Toombs County High School.”
The Bulldogs finished third in Double A behind Jefferson and Bremen and one point ahead of Social Circle.